1 Aug 2022
Horticulture has long been dependent on seasonal migrant labour from the European Union (EU) for growing and harvesting both edible and ornamental produce. Following the end of free movement between the UK and the EU and the introduction of the UK's points-based immigration system, the sector's dependency on low skilled migrant workers from the EU needed reassessing and readjusting.
In response, the UK government announced various policy interventions and reviews to help support and prepare the sector. On 22 December 2020 the UK government announced an extension of the Seasonal Workers Pilot for 2021, expanding the number of visas from 10,000 to 30,000, and a Review of Automation in Horticulture to be conducted by Defra.